It’s not really much of a secret at this point that the roots of the opposition to Chuck Hagel — President Obama’s pick as the next Defense Secretary — boils down to the Iraq war. After voting to authorize the war, Hagel later opposed it, to the ire of his GOP colleagues and the neocons. Neocons and Iraq war boosters are now trying to paint Hagel as out of the mainstream but a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll shows that a majority of Americans think the Iraq war was not worth fighting. When asked, “All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not,” 55 percent said the war was not worth fighting, while 27 percent said it was.
In other news:
- Roll Call reports: A top aide to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has been distributing anti-Chuck Hagel emails to a large, undisclosed listserv of staffers — including Democrats — beginning as early as Dec. 20, according to the more than a dozen emails obtained by CQ Roll Call.
- Hagel reportedly met with senior Pentagon staff to set the record straight regarding his views on Iran, saying he supports international sanctions and that he believes all options are on the table — including military force — to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
- The AP reports: The Marine Corps has advised its legal staff that spouses clubs operating on its installations must admit same-sex spouses if they wish to remain on the bases.
- The Hill reported on Wednesday: The State Department has decided to keep the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington open for another six months despite anti-terrorism legislation making it illegal, according to regulatory documents filed Tuesday.
- And finally, J Street launched its “Smear a bagel, not Chuck Hagel” campaign this week, asking supporters to sign a petition supporting Hagel’s nomination. “Stand up against attempts to disqualify a good man for public service through a shameless smear campaign,” J Street says, adding, “For every 18 people that sign, we’ll send bagels to local food banks in honor of Bill Kristol to fight the smears.”